The intermittent preventive treatment (IPTp) policy of Malawi (2002) stipulates that IPTp is administered during antenatal care as a direct observation therapy (DOT). The policy further recommends that IPT should be administered monthly after 16 weeks of pregnancy until delivery. This study assessed both the demand and supply factors contributing to higher dropout of IPT after the first dose. Optimal number of doses was pegged at a minimum of three in accordance with WHO recommendation. Data were analysed from the Malawi multiple indicator cluster survey (2015) and the service provision assessment (2014) of 6637 women (aged 15 – 49 yrs), 763 facilities and 2105 health workers. The sample was made up of pregnant women, health facilities and workers involved in routine antenatal services across all regions of Malawi. A composit e indicator was constructed to report integration of IPTp with ANC services and administration of IPTp - SP as DOT. Multivariate and logistic regression were conducted to determine associations. Regression analysis found that: 1. Age of women (women 35 – 49 yrs, AOR 1.98; 95% CI 1.42 – 2.13, number of children as well as the number of ANC visits were associated with optimal uptake of IPTp. 2. Administering IPT as DOT was higher in facilities in rural areas (AOR 1.86; 95% CI 1.54 – 1.92) than in urban areas. 3. Administration of IPTp as DOT was relatively lower in across all facilities with highest being facilities managed by CHAM (72.8%, AOR 1.40; 95% CI 1.22 – 1.54). Health system bottlenecks were found to present the main cause of low coverage with optimal doses of IPTp. Incorporating these results into strategic policy IPTp formulation could help improve coverage to desired levels. This study could serve as plausible evidence for government and donors when planning malaria in pregnancy interventions, especially in remote parts of Malawi.
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